Planned or not, Days of our Lives started off with a powerful episode for the show’s first episode seen exclusively on the Peacock. Specifically, Gabi Hernandez DiMera came face-to-face with the not-so-dead Stefan DiMera. For her powerful performance as a stunned woman, Soap Hub bestows Performer of the Week honors on Camila Banus, Gabi’s portrayer.
Camila Banus – Performer of the Week
Ironically, Banus’s performance, which began the Friday before during the show’s final episode on NBC, was cut short due to a news pre-emption. (Fans don’t have to worry about that ever happening again in the streaming world.) Fortunately, it picked up again the following week when Gabi told Stefan she was moving forward with her life only to then find her late love standing right in front of her!
“I can’t believe it…you’re alive…” Gabi said, mistakenly believing that it was the late Jake DiMera (Brandon Barash), Stefan’s twin, who’d done the Lazarus bit. Stefan gave Gabi a double shock by revealing he was Stefan — not a twin he’d never met. Gabi stated that there was no way that Stefan could be alive as his heart was transplanted into the heart of Julie Olson Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes).
Camila Banus let the realization that this was Stefan — not Jake — standing in front of Gabi wash over her character. She reached out to her love and kissed him, still stunned that he was back among the living.
Poor Gabi. Stefan is back but thanks to some mind-control courtesy of Dr. Rolf (Richard Wharton) and Kristen DiMera (Stacy Haiduk), he wants nothing to do with her. Gabi’s joy was short-lived.
Alas, there is no Dr. Rolf in real-life to give us the bittersweet shock that Gabi has received. However, kudos must go to Camila Banus who brought realism and humanity to Gabi’s reaction to Stefan’s return.
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on Peacock+ in the U.S. and The W Network or Global TV App in Canada. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.